DIY Acne Fighting Toner

There I was, sitting on my bed crying, feeling stuck, and frustrated. I was feeling sorry for myself and not knowing where to go… I just knew I had to make a change.

You see I had managed to get through the teen years without acne, but WHAM —  my early 20’s started and I was hit with adult acne. In hindsight I am thankful for the six month breakout because it lead me on a journey back to health, wellness, real food, and holistic medicine. However, at the time I felt defeated and hopeless. After wallowing in my misery for a bit I decided to make a real change from the inside out.

My first step was to learn all that I could about acne; I scoured the internet and various books, reading for hundreds of hours. I soon discovered that the root of acne is gut related and that I also needed to stop the toxic soup of mainstream makeup and skincare products I was using.

I decided to go back to the basics, return to #lifefromscratch like my parents had raised me, but I had gotten so far removed from in college.

So, I found myself throwing away hundreds of dollars in makeup, creams, and washes and turning to simple, wholesome, minimal ingredient skincare products. I changed my diet by banishing processed food and eating whole, real organic foods in its place. I knew healing my leaky gut was key to healthy glowing acne free skin. I also did a cleanse and started on a few key supplements.

Within two weeks I began to notice a difference in my skin and my energy levels. The overly sensitive, dry but somehow also oily skin I had known was becoming soft and hydrated with fewer breakouts and less congestion. Time continued to be good to me and within approximately three months I was clear skinned and felt healthy and vibrant. I was stoked.

My skincare routine was simple…

…a black soap to wash my face (read about how here), a homemade toner to balance my skin, and a light coat of jojoba oil to finish.

No more $50 lotions and trips to the beauty counters. The toner was a result of many tweakings to a basic base of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I first started with only ACV, which worked wonderfully, but when I experimented with adding a few additional ingredients, I was even more pleased. The acne fighting toner became a staple for me and I’d even spritz it on my face throughout the day. Eventually, when my skin oil levels normalized I didn’t even use a moisturizer after the toner. I found it a perfect way to provide my skin with nutrients but still let it breathe and balance itself.

Now that my acne is long behind me I don’t use this toner everyday. However, when I do notice my skin getting a bit congested I grab this trusty concoction, use it for a few days and away any trouble areas go.

What’s In It?

Apple Cider is a great treatment for acne. It works directly against the p. acnes bacteria as well as tightens pores and balances oils levels. Balancing oil levels on acnegenic skin is key as it’s the way the skin is able to protect itself, and therefore ward off further infections. ACV is also loaded with enzymes and vitamins to directly nourish the skin. I absolutely LOVE this brand of apple cider vinegar, it is far superior to others. I once tried another brand and found it was not as effective and left my skin dry.


Serves: Yields 1 oz or 30 mL, feel free to double or triple the batch as you will go though it quite fast using it twice a day. This toner keeps for 12 mo.


Make It

  • Mix all ingredients on a small light protective spray bottle.
  • Shake gently to disperse the oils.
  • Store in a cool dark place….hello medicine cabinet.
  • Use on clean skin at least twice a day. Shake gently before each use and either spray directly on skin or apply to a cotton pad and then to your face.
  • Finish with a light moisturizer if necessary.

*T=tablespoon and t=teaspoon

I hope you enjoy this toner and share it with your loved ones that have acne.

The path to recovery can be long and disheartening but with a holistic approach the body will being to heal the root cause of most skin problems– an imbalanced and unhealthy gut. Diet and supplements are a large portion of acne treatment but simple, gentle, and soothing skincare also play an integral roll in banishing it forever.


Not feeling particularly DIYish?

Simply not enough hours in the day? Pinning more than you could ever tackle these days? No worries. I have got you covered.

Please, head on over to my Pronounce Skincare Herbal Boutique where I sell many of the ingredients needed to make this recipe, and also my own Pronounce Skincare Face Toner.

While you are there, please look around at all of my other skincare creations. I love making them for my family and for you!

Comments 10

  1. The link is for dried witch hazel – do you add this directly to the ACV or do you make a witch hazel decoction and add this to the toner?

  2. I LOVE your products and diy recipes. Thank you for caring enough to share…
    Is there a way to NATURALLY keep the oils dispersed throughout the solution? I expect to shake it, but oils don’t really mix with “water”…

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